RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann has launched a staunch defence of Timo Werner after the Germany striker completed his move to Chelsea.
Werner agreed terms on a deal that reportedly takes him through to 2025 at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues said to have paid a reported £47.5million for his services.
The 24-year-old will become a Chelsea player in July, meaning he will not feature for Leipzig when their Champions League campaign resumes, with the tournament due to be completed in a shortened format in Lisbon in August.
Werner's decision to make the move to London while Leipzig are still in Europe's premier competition has drawn condemnation among some quarters in Germany.
But Nagelsmann had sympathy for his departing superstar in the context of the unprecedented complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic and is convinced Werner will give his all for Leipzig's final two Bundesliga games.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Leipzig's clash with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, Nagelsmann said: "I would like to defend him.
"I don't like the way he's portrayed right now. I read some reports yesterday where it was said that he was not a sportsman, since he does not want to play in the Champions League for us anymore.
"He is a great sportsman who will give his all for us in the last two matches and who certainly will score in the last two matches.
"If he stays healthy he will play for sure and be a normal member of our team even though he will leave us.
"Regarding the Champions League, I would have loved to have him on board and would have liked it if he'd play for us. Simply because he is great player who scores a lot of goals.
"But I can understand his and his team's side. He's coming to another city in a different country with a foreign language.
"It's an unusual situation due to COVID, we never had something like this in football, with all competitions being spread out, everything being different and different measures need to be taken."
Nagelsmann believes Werner would have wanted to see out the Champions League campaign and says he must not be judged negatively by the unusual situation.
"I don't think one should judge from a far distance what kind of player or human being Timo Werner is. It is his right," he added.
"It's a pity and sad and I believe he would have liked to play. However, it is a transfer that ends a big chapter of his life and where a new one with a lot of changes begins.
"It's normal that during this time he does not want to take the risk of being injured, even though that rarely happens with him.
"He wants to make his move together with his girlfriend so I can completely understand. It's not right that he is being blamed for his decision.
"That does not mean I would not have liked him to take part in these matches. Timo knows this. He still is a good guy and a great player, so you must not criticise him in every TV show and claim that he is not a good sportsman."